Full details of the race route are given below. The map (right) is approximate only and should not be used for navigation!
An alternate adverse weather route in the Sound of Kerrera/Oban Bay will be notified to race participants on the morning of the race, if required. It is the responsibility of each paddler to ensure they follow the correct route. Time penalties and disqualification may result from failure to adhere to route requirements, Maritime Rules of the Road (Collision Regs.) and environmental considerations (i.e. giving seals a wide berth [200m minimum] especially whilst “hauled-out” of rocks and reefs).
Race start 13.00hrs, Saturday 23rd August 2014, Oban Bay (east)
Tide times: Standard Port Oban
High Water 17.35 hrs (BST) 3.5m
Kilbowie Outdoor Centre is the assembly point for Oban Sea Kayak Race - see green marker on map insert right.
Click on the map insert to see a larger map and to get directions. From the centre of Oban, initially follow signs for the ferry terminal but then continue along Gallanach Road until reaching the centre on your right about 2km from Oban centre. The Centre's postcode is PA38 4PF.
Please park all vehicles at Kilbowie Outdoor Centre. All kayaks should be at the Centre and ready for the sea after scrutinising by 11.30am on the day of the Race.
Scrutinising will take place at Kilbowie Outdoor Education Centre prior to 11am.
Race brief will take place at 11.30am, Kilbowie /launch point.
The Oban Sea Kayak Race flotilla will then paddle escorted and together to Oban Bay, taking into account the local ferries before crossing the CalMac Ferry RoRo Piers.
Please abide by these conditions: The whole of Oban Bay will be watching. Paddlers will in effect become ambassadors of their sport. Any contraventions may jeopardise future events.
Laminated A5 Race/ID Numbers will be issued at checkpoint desk situated at entrance to Kilbowie, Race/ID Numbers must be clearly visible when paddling.
Pre-Start 12 noon - 12.30pm Oban Bay Beach
Mini social pre-event, media opportunities, and thanks to sponsors. Final race brief at 12.45pm.
Oban Bay North Channel Crossing
WARNING: International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREG Rule 9 & 10 Narrow Channels) apply.
I.E.: KEEP CLEAR OF OTHER VESSELS & CROSS AT RIGHT ANGLES IF SAFE.
N.B. Any contravention of IRPCS 1972 will result in disqualification from the race.
Once the paddlers have completed the race and have had their times recorded, refreshments and snacks will be available on Oban beach. A reception for all paddlers and their families will be held at the Kilbowie outdoor centre, including a BBQ and music. A burger and a drink is included in entry fee; for further drinks, bring your own.
The route circumnavigates Kerrera, a beautiful rural Scottish west coast island, steeped in history, which provides shelter to the busy port of Oban. The south and west coast of Kerrera is particularly vulnerable to a large open fetch, and sea conditions can quickly become challenging. A wind against tide scenario can be of concern, especially to the south of the island which is affected by tidal flows from the Sound of Kerrera and Loch Feochan. The tide race between Kerrera and Bach Island and the north entrance to Oban Bay can be hazardous.
The route at the north west end of Kerrera passes close to a common seal colony. The seals will be approaching the end of their breeding season. Seal pups need time out of the water in order to warm; kayaks present probably the scariest sight to hauled-out seals than anything else. Please keep well clear of any hauled-out seals. Seal pups can die from hypothermia, caused by kayaks passing too close!
The north entrance to Oban Bay is treated as a “constricted channel” for Maritime Regulations (i.e. sail and small paddle-craft DO NOT HAVE Priority).
(c) 2016 Oban Sea Kayak Race